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Intu to pilot seven new technologies during its second start-up accelerator

By Vivian Hendriksz

28 May 2018

Retail

New technologies that can reduce carbon emissions and deliver shoppers’ bags directly to their cars will be tested by shopping centre owner Intu across its 14 UK locations this month as part of its second start-up accelerator programme.

The shopping centre owner has signed up seven start-up companies, selected from 97 applicants, who will be able to test their innovative ideas which aim to shape the future of retail at its shopping centres and online at intu.co.uk.

The seven selected companies taking part this year in Intu’s Accelerator include: CarTap, which provides secure access to cars to deliver shoppers bags directly to their vehicles; Grid Edge, which saves money and reduces carbon emissions by using artificial intelligence to control energy usage; Rhythm, which creates multiplayer games for big screens that link companies with groups of people; WeFiFo, an online marketplace that connects amateur and professional chefs with paying guests; Greendeck, a programme that uses AI to help fashion brands and retailers automatically classify products into categories and attributes; Yosh.Ai, a virtual assistant which provides a personal shopping service; and Roialty, a hi-tech marketing platform that aims to turn anonymous social media data into customer insights.

The seven selected business will work with Intu to develop their products and services over a ten week period. Now in its second year, Intu Accelerate follows the success of last year’s initiative, which tested retail robots, queue jumping apps and online personal shoppers, and sees Intu working together with innovation specialists L Marks.

“Retail is one of the UK’s most exciting and dynamic industries and it’s transforming at pace,” said David Fischel, intu chief executive in a statement. “Together with these creative and innovative businesses, we’re developing answers to many of the questions facing our customers and retailers today.”

“Intu Accelerate is giving these seven new businesses the opportunity to show how we can do things differently through live trials that will also demonstrate the potential of their idea to shape the future of retail and create the perfect shopping experience.”

Photo: Intu Watford